Arthur has been attending a theater after-school class on Tuesday afternoons while Julian has soccer class, but yesterday he didn’t have his class for whatever reason, and I was excited to spend some time with my boy over coffee and a treat at the coffee shop down the street from his school, where we hang out often.
Arthur chose a piece of lemon cake, a choice he’s made many times before – of course nut-free. Pretty much right away he said his mouth hurt, but he’s kind of been having a rash around his lips, so I thought that’s what it was. I looked inside his mouth, and everything looked fine.
On our way home Arthur complained about a belly ache and was overall a bit mopey, but I still didn’t really think too much of it. Once we got home, Arthur started coughing and basically couldn’t stop. I heard some wheezing. I should have given him an EPI right then, but I picked him up and ran-walked to urgent care right around the corner. Two hours after he had eaten the cake we were sitting in the waiting area, and I noticed one hive on each eyelid. That’s when I knew for sure what was going on.
He was given Benadryl, steroids, and a breathing treatment. This was 15 minutes later, right before he was given an EPI injection. He was royally pissed at this point.
That’s when five rather big firemen from our local firehouse walked into the room. “Hey kid. What’s your name?” and “How you doin’ Ahhhhthuuuuh?” My boy was utterly unimpressed. As it turns out, whichever emergency responder is closest has to show up at the “scene” and wait until EMTs arrive. Even though we were already at an urgent care clinic. So we hung out with the firemen.
Then the EMTs arrived, checked him out, did an EKG and we were on our way to the hospital via this fancy ride:
None of this was even remotely interesting to Arthur, not even the sirens. As soon as we arrived at the hospital he made sure everyone we encountered knew how boooooored he was.
Jeff and Julian met us at the hospital, and Arthur remained under observation until 9pm. Upon seeing Arthur on his little hospital bed, Julian said, “Wow. I will never forget this.”
I will spare you the pictures of his full body rash and the fake abs he had colored all over his belly the day before. I heard some of the nurses whisper about “the kid with the six pack…how cute!”
Jeff made a pizza run, and the boys got to watch Ghostbusters.
Arthur was fine. Arthur is fine.
Of course I slept next to him all night and was just so comforted to have him near me.
Last night as I was trying to process it all, I just felt so sad. Sad that this happened, that he had to go through this, that I couldn’t prevent it, couldn’t protect him. Today I am angry. I’m pissed off that my kid has to live with this constant threat to his wellbeing and, well, to his life. I’m pissed that despite being careful and mindful and asking questions, this still happened. We don’t know how exactly it happened. A nut, presumably a walnut, somehow must have snuck onto his plate, or his cake was close to another cake. We don’t know. The guy at the coffee shop almost cried when I told him what had happened this morning.
Anyway. Arthur went to school today; he is his bouncy, loud, silly self again. I’m the one who can’t shake what happened to him. But we’ll take whatever learning we can from this and hold him just a bit closer yet. Even though he’s continuously trying to wiggle free.